New Life for the Hotel Northland? - WBAY

New Life for the Hotel Northland?

Updated:
Green Bay -

Click here to see Part 1 of this series.

As the people have come and gone, the doors have opened and closed. For as much as the Hotel Northland has lost, so much has still been kept.

"And this is the original front desk area that has all the accounting machines," Victoria Parmentier shows us, president of R.E. Management, which manages the hotel.

After decades of providing elderly housing, the aura of the Northland could return.

The key slots, the elevator, the lobby - all purposely left in-tact when the hotel closed in 1979.

The entire building has been empty for a year, as housing moved out, and a massive marketing project moves in.

"I think there's a lot of nostalgia regarding this property, and a lot of people ask us constantly when it's going to come back online," Green Bay Economic Development Director Greg Filsram said.

A fully restored Hotel Northland is the dream.

This week nearly two dozen developers will receive an invitation to be "the one." Already a Wisconsin company has requested a tour for a restoration project estimated between $25 and $30 million. See while the lobby and ballroom are in-tact, the rooms and other parts of the building are not.

"It's going to cost money, and we're very up front with the developers," Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt said. "We're telling them - look this isn't a two, three, four five million dollar deal."

Schmitt is at the forefront of the effort, willing to propose several million dollars in loans from the city through a tax increment financing district. The mayor says he's also been talking with the NFL to ensure opposing teams could stay at the hotel, which was a mainstay of its early days.

"so when all the pro teams stayed here and they had an 11:00 curfew, we had to mark all the rooms where the players were and when the phone rang we had to explain to them we were unable to dial out because it was past their curfew time," Parmentier said.

Mayor Schmitt says the hotel would be designed to accommodate visiting teams, along with food service and amenities for "distinguished travelers."

Ideally the mayor would like financing in place by the end of the year, a goal described by others as optimistic.

For those who remember the Hotel Northland like Roger Skaletski, who worked there in the late 1940s, the impression never leaves.

"It was a different world," Skaletski said. "I had never ever seen anything like it."

Now the imprint could be made for generations a new, a dream for Skaletski.

"If they could capture everything about the old Northland, it would be just icing on the cake for my life."

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